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By Anna Maria Moubayed
Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) students want to see the return of security incident emails after the system was replaced with the TMU Safe app.
Before the move to distance learning, security incidents on campus were posted online and emailed to community members with a link to a more detailed report of the incident.
In a statement to The eye opener, the university said it has no plans to email security incidents again. “Community members can continue to stay informed by checking the incidents online if necessary,” the statement said.
The email system for security incidents was replaced by the TMU Safe mobile app, which launched in November 2019, according to the university.
The app provides access to emergency procedures, contact information for TMU safety and support services, personal safety tips, and safety workshop information available to students, according to the app’s website.
The website also said that TMU Safe alerts can be sent via text message after logging into TMU Safe’s messaging system.
The university said in the statement that the community safety team promotes the TMU Safe app through organized safety planning sessions, on-campus events such as orientation week, and partnerships with other offices that engage students through submissions.
However, Tim Maksimenko, a first-year computer science student at TMU, said he wasn’t familiar with the app. “I didn’t know it existed, nobody I know knows it existed; it’s not very effective if nobody can access it,” he said.
Maksimenko said the TMU Safe app could be useful, but only if students were made aware of it.
Dani Sadun, a fourth-year visual arts student at TMU, said she thinks emails about security incidents are a better option than the app.
“Given that the TMU Safe app is not well known, emails sent to our university accounts would keep everyone on campus informed of any security incident,” she said. “[That would let] Every single student has accessible information for their own safety.”
Ainslee Lockhart, a fourth-year fashion media student, said she remembers getting the emails in her freshman year and also hopes to see them return.
“It’s kind of crazy that things happen and we don’t get notified,” she said. “If [incidents] happen, then we should know about it [them].”
While the TMU Safe app and online posts are accessible, Sadun said the lack of awareness of these options renders them ineffective.
“Ultimately, that is the responsibility of the university, which does not communicate this sufficiently,” she said.
According to TMU, sharing security incidents through the app and website helps promote shared responsibility.
“By sharing security incidents, community members can stay informed and take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their property.”